March 31, 2023
Annapolis, US 40 F

Beautiful Nightmare

Dear Chanel, essentials

In an attempt to keep anonymous, I hope you don’t mind me not telling you my name or the names of the other two involved. I’ve read both of your columns and I thought that maybe you would be able to give some good advice, or at least give me some clarity.

Is it unfaithful to think unfaithfully, yet never act on those thoughts or daydreams, or is it merely human to have unfaithful thoughts?  My significant other is away a lot, for 7 to 8 months at a time and we have limited contact for the months that he is gone. I’ve never cheated on him in even the smallest way. He knows that the majority of my friends are guys and I never do anything without his knowing. For example, if I am to hang out with someone, it’s never spur of the moment, I will make plans in advance so that I can run them by my significant other. It’s not that he has me a short leash I just want to make sure that I give him no reason whatsoever to think I am unfaithful or to not trust me. And after I get together with a friend, he knows the details. I don’t keep secrets from him. Because of the situation we are in it’s easy for trust to be lost or forgotten. On the very few occasions where one of my friends has crossed the line, I’ve been completely honest with my significant other, told him what happened, and stopped hanging out with the other person.

Lately though, one of my friends has been around a lot. There is nothing between the two of us, he and I have become really close friends, mainly because he is the most supportive of my relationship for exactly what it is, not what everyone thinks. So he has been around a lot lately and I adore the attention he gives me. As much as I love my significant other, I sometimes find myself wondering why my friend and I never got together because of how easily we mesh. And then I feel bad for having thoughts like that because part of me knows that I just miss my significant other more than I thought was possible and am not used to being on my own. I don’t get jealous of other girls hanging around my friend, or if he cancels plans on me. I would love it if he found a girl he could settle down with! He is just a really good friend of mine. But the attention he gives me, and the time we spend together makes me unsure of the chemistry we have. I feel unfaithful for thinking “what if” with him…even though I would/will never act on impulse and destroy what I have now…is it still wrong to think “what if”, or is it only human???


Living in a Beautiful Nightmare

Dear Beautiful Nightmare,

To answer your first question – I think it is a human impulse to think of others even when with somebody else. It could be a celebrity, an ex, a friend or someone you have never met before. The thing that takes it across boundaries is what you do about these thoughts.

You have stated that you have never cheated on your loved one. Congratulations!  That’s great that you have an open communication going between the both of you. That is key in relationships.

Now, it does seem to me that you have developed feelings towards your best guy friend. My suggestion is to figure what type of attraction this is – is it based upon the fact that you are vulnerable because you are left alone for many months or because you honestly get along so well that it could turn into something special. You claim there is nothing between the two of you but let’s dig a bit deeper.

If you seem to feel it is because you are alone so often and it is a familiar warm body – then I’d advise you to take precautions. Things could steer in the wrong direction. No one likes to be alone or without a loved one.  This could take you down the road of cheating.

If it seems to be because you really are into this friend, then be honest with yourself, him and your loved one. No one needs to be in a love triangle. You need to decide who you would rather be with – you need to talk with your significant other and explain how mixed up and confused you are feeling and who you are feeling that way towards. I suggest you also try talking to this friend and see if the feelings are even mutual. This may be awkward but there is no sense in trying to guess what is happening or try to drag this out any longer.

The fact that you do not get jealous over other girls or if he cancels plans – does show that you are viewing him more as a friend. He is someone you have bonded well with, someone who understands your situation and has been there for you. Just keep in mind – if you do find out that you like him, will it alter that friendship?

As far as your loved one goes you seem to be very  much into the relationship and care about him. You keep him posted with what is happening. That does not make you seem on a leash. I keep up with my boyfriend at all times, even if he could care less about what I am up to. To me, its an open door.  With this open door, you should find comfort in talking to the significant other. You two may also need to find a way to make you feel more comfortable with the long months in between seeing one another. Limited contact is hard but there are ways to cope. I found a couple on FlickR that takes one artsy photo a day and at the end of their time apart they put them together in an album – you could become close pen pals – you can get a pet – basically, you have a void that needs to be filled while he is gone. Anything works but another male.

I have been here before.  I have a small close girl group of friends but 90% of my close friends are men. It’s just how I prefer things.I have very close best friends that are male and they mean so much to me. I love that I can call on them and they are there. Having a lot of guy friends sets the stage for multiple issues and problems to arise. One of them is attraction between one or both parties.

In my past, I have had mixed emotions about where I stand with multiple guy friends. After going over my feelings it sometimes ended up being as simple as not having someone by my side or the wrong person by my side but, then on the other hand, I discovered feelings and ended up dating that person. Regardless, all cards were shown and it was left in the open.

In my recent relationship, my boyfriend has had the busiest schedule since we began dating and I do get lonely. I cannot blame him because these things are a part of his life/job. I know that I could easily find someone who could be around more often or be tempted. I have learned to keep myself occupied. Its been a mix of having multiple jobs, hanging out with the guys or doing things for myself (modeling, writing, photography, kickboxing, cycling, family) — we recently got a pet and that has kept me on my toes and not sitting around thinking about the fact that he can’t be around as much as Id like.

In the end – realize that a close bond between two people is a beautiful thing. Take pride in the fact that you do have a close guy friend who understands how great your relationship is. Figure out what is best for you! Keep me updated on what you decide to do!


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  1. It is human to think.. to act is a different story. Great advice yet again, Chanel! Love your columns!

  2. I think neither one of the relationships are healthy. You seem to be around male friends but the truth is that when you are in a serious relationship you do not need to seek other male friends. On the other hand, it seems like your relationship with your currently boyfriend makes you lonely and that is the reason why you feel attracted to this other guy. My adviced will be to leave both behinds and find someone that is always there are for you.

  3. I agree with chanel its only natural you think that way.. But i would try not to get into too deep with the friend and maybe back off of him a little so you don’t do something you regret.
    Its all your decision, that’s just what I think would be best for you and your relationship with your boyfriend.

  4. Now normally i read Chanel’s columns and only give her feedback on the column itself and how she handed the advice she gave, ((doll, it was a great column. you made it personal with background stories of your own and really connected with the reader on this one. this is on of my FAVS!)) I’m also never one to question one’s opinion on anything however, Constanza, you are wrong and it may not be my place to say this to you either but your advice was not only out of place but arrogant and unsympathetic to a situation you obviously cannot relate to. not only was your take on the column belittling but the comment was self-righteous and ignorant. my advice to you is that you don’t give advice to anyone one on a situation that you have never experienced or cannot relate to.

    sorry for the outburst, but as someone who is married to a Marine who deploys every 7 months for 7 to 9 months…i can honestly relate to this girl and her situation. Constanza, you have only proved why i do not like to have female friends. yes, it does cause many trust issues with my husband while he is deployed but we deal with it. the difference between guy friends and chick friends is that a guy knows what you need when you need it and is willing to do almost anything to make sure you are okay. if they really care for you, whether its as only a friend or something more, a true guy friend will never let you hurt your self and will stop you from making a mistake no matter how attracted to you he is or not. yes, that sounds a bit cinematic but Men have hero complexes, and a lot of women have God complexes. and no matter how much your girl friends care for you they are still “think-for-themselfers” and i will even admit when it comes to my heart or another girls heart…i’ll break hers first but for my guy friends i’ll give my life. and that is why i will always find more comfort in guy friends and not woman friends.((if my guy friends ever hurt me i’d see it coming, oppose to if any of my girlfriends hurt me…i wouldnt know it till the knife in my back killed me))

    beautiful nightmare, this is my advice to you. i think its only human to sometimes think that way, but as long as its only in your head…like Chanel said, its not unlike a celebrity crush. its you actions, not your thoughts, that make you unfaithful.

    *Chanel, i wasn’t trying to steal the spotlight from you ^_^ this one just really hit home.

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